Cruelty-Free Carnists?

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Do not get into a fight on Facebook. Do not get into a fight on Facebook…I say this to myself often unfortunately. I posted a while ago about engaging with a “friend” after they posted some anti-vegan stuff on their page. I told myself I shouldn’t but I did anyway.  Well it came up again. This “friend” posted this article. I knew they were posting it because of me and I called them out on it. They, of course, claimed they weren’t but I am their only vegan friend. (Their exact response: “Actually I didn’t post this based on anyone’s posts. I posted it cause I enjoyed the content. But if thinking it’s because I’m posting it in response to something you posted helps you sleep at night then go ahead and keep thinking so”). After engaging again, even though I knew I shouldn’t, I decided it would be healthier for me if I unfollowed them. Boundaries.

This post is not about that “fight”, seriously though…you’re the one continuing to inflict harm and suffering on sentient beings just because of your taste buds (or because “God created animals for us”) but yeah, I’m the one having trouble sleeping.

It’s actually about this extremely dense article. I can’t even with this…

Basically this article is saying that veganism is not cruelty-free so we should just keep eating animals and not doing anything to make life better for anyone.  Ok that’s not really what it says but that’s what I took away. This article was just an excuse for some butthurt carnist to feel better about eating meat because they can’t argue with the facts anymore.

This article states that many vegans believe that veganism is equal to cruelty-free but veganism is not cruelty-free and they go on to list why but mostly it’s about the agricultural industry and how the people who pick the fruit and vegetables aren’t getting fair wages. That’s pretty much their only argument on why veganism isn’t cruelty-free.

The ridiculousness of this article put me on 10 immediately!

First, there are such things as fair-trade. Fair-trade products have been produced by people who are given good wages.  You can also purchase local products which help cut down on the chances of them being produced unfairly.

Secondly, since when have these people started to care about fair wages or living conditions of others? The people that work in slaughter houses work in terrible conditions, for long hours, for little money. Most of them suffer from PTSD, depression, and anxiety! But you don’t care about that while you’re sucking down your 99 cent hamburger.

Also, you’re calling out vegans specifically for not caring about people of color because we need our quinoa. (Fair-trade quinoa does exist!) Do you (these people with quotes in the article) care about where your cheap clothes come from? What about those Dollar Store purchases from China? Oh you don’t think about those? Guess what? Maybe that’s something you need to think about. Cheap means cheap for a reason and usually it’s because of the labor involved.

So now that we’ve covered the ‘fair wages’ that you carnists obviously don’t care about, let’s move to more serious issues. Do you care about the health ramifications of the people spraying the fields for your conventionally grown products? What about the animals or environment or people living around these areas? These chemicals have been proven to cause cancer. They are being blamed for the deterioration of the bee population. Scientists have estimated that if the bees die out, humans only have seven-that’s SEVEN-years before we all die out. What about the people who live by factory farms, specifically pig farms? The farms pump out the fumes from the pig sewage into the air because it’s toxic. That means that the people living nearby, even within MILES, can be affected by these fumes deemed ‘too toxic for the pigs’. Think, there is POOP in the air. What are the health ramifications of that for these people, specifically the children? There are lawsuits in Iowa and North Carolina against these pig farms. The people in NC actually WON against the factory farm. The problem is that this factory farm is not going to change their practices. They’re just going to move to another location. And since most factory farms are near lower income neighborhoods they’re just going to be moved to another low income neighborhood.

There is no way, I repeat NO WAY to live on this planet and be 100% cruelty free. The point of veganism is to minimize the amount of harm you are inevitably inflicting by living on this earth. By not consuming animals or products; by not purchasing off-products from animals (leather/wool/silk); by not purchasing or using products that have caused harm to animals (meaning tested on); by purchasing organic, fair-trade, local, and properly-priced products we can live as cruelty-free as possible.

And by NO MEANS is eating meat/dairy/eggs even REMOTELY close to being cruelty-free. So stop trying to make yourselves feel better because you know what you’re doing is DIRECTLY contributing to animal suffering.

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Boundaries

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What are boundaries?

Boundaries are rules or limits that a person sets in order for themselves to feel comfortable. This could be anything from saying they’re not drinking on a date to not answering their phone after 9 PM (and many, many more in between).

Why are they important?

They are important because the person has defined what they need or don’t need in order to feel comfortable and safe.

So why am I writing about boundaries?

I realized recently that I’d been making rules or decisions about my veganism in regards to others in order to make myself more comfortable. I feel that they are important to set in our daily lives too.

I’ll start with the veganism boundaries first.

I found myself starting to feel stressed out when thinking about meals with other people who didn’t eat the same way I do. But of course it was an obligatory event where there would be no food for me. So what do I do now?
Would I make my food ahead of time? That’s a lot of prep work and I’d have to make sure there was nothing hot in case the oven was being used.
Would I wait until after the event was done to eat? That could be late or a long time in between meals and let’s be honest…I get really hangry. And then I’m basically watching everyone else eat.

Would I bring a snack? Then everyone else is eating their full meal and I am having a salad and still would have to eat when it was over.

I got tired of having to figure out my entire day plan when others can just stroll up and not worry a single bit about food. It started to be very stressful. So I set a boundary. I said that I would either leave before they ate or come after they’ve finished (depending on the meal time).

Boom. Boundary set.

Another vegan related boundary: If meals are being had at restaurants and there is nothing more than a salad available to me, I don’t attend. Nope. Flat out don’t attend.

Boom. Boundary set.

What about in daily life?

Here’s a good example. Let’s say you moved away from home and your mom calls you every day and wants to talk to you. That’s a lot. You can set up a time where you say every Sunday you’ll talk at 5 PM. She’s not going to like that and she’s going to still call you every day. You can either not answer. Or ask her if it’s an emergency otherwise you’ll talk to her during your weekly times.

Boundary set.

What happens if you get push back?

It’s inevitable. You’re going to get people who don’t like it. There can be many reasons for that. Maybe they’re used to getting their way and they don’t like that they’re not getting to do whatever they want anymore. Maybe they’re afraid to set their own boundaries or feel they aren’t able to so their pushing back on yours. Whatever the reason, there is going to be push back.

But no matter what anyone says, they are your boundaries. They are made out of something that is important to you. And if they are trying to break your boundaries, call them out on it. Ask them “why are you trying to break my boundaries?” It could be a really good conversation and help both sides get insight.

You are 100% able to make these for yourself and you do not need to explain yourself.

It can be hard sometimes. I totally understand. You can always make an exception or change your boundaries around. It’s all about what makes you comfortable.

For me, setting boundaries really made me feel more like an adult. I wasn’t just going along with what was expected of me anymore or doing things based on obligation. I looked at my life and realized that I didn’t like the way things were just expected of me because that’s what they always were. I made a change.

I read a quote recently from Admiral Grace Hopper, “The most damaging phrase in the language is: ‘It’s always been done that way’.”

Well it’s time to step out of that. Start setting boundaries in your own lives. If there’s something you’re not happy or comfortable with (or even worse obligated to) set a boundary.

Designate one night a week to be out; don’t attend gatherings that don’t have food for you; don’t answer your phone until the designated time; don’t check your work stuff at home. The list goes on.

You don’t need to feel like you have to make up an excuse either. Tell the truth or just say “I’m not going out tonight. Thanks for the offer.” See how things change in your life. If you need to re-adjust your boundaries, do. They’re not in stone unless you want them to be.

What are some of your boundaries? How did people react to them?

Victim Blaming Needs to Stop!

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Content and trigger warning ahead: Sexual Assault/Rape Culture.

 

 

Scrolling through Facebook one day I saw that someone had posted the picture below on their account with their comment as “Amen!”

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I tried to formulate words in my head but I was just stammering. Even when I talked about it later I kept stammering because I just couldn’t figure out where to start with that picture. I tried to forget about it for a few days but it just kept coming back up in my mind and I felt like I needed to say something. So I questioned what her meaning behind this post was and I flat out told her that I thought it was very victim blaming, etc. I got no response from the actual poster but two men (with a very conservative upbringing) decided to jump in and defend the post.

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I could scream at the responses here. Instead I’m going to just let you read what was written and comment on the original post instead.

First, this post is extremely victim blaming. What is victim blaming? It means that you’re blaming the person for what happened to them. Since the post was saying that by dressing a certain way they’re asking to be touched/assaulted. What are the standard questions asked of a woman after an assault happens? ‘What was she wearing?’ ‘Was she by herself in a bad area late at night?’ ‘Are you sure it wasn’t just misinterpreted?’ And on and on and on. None of it is supportive and almost all of it is blaming the woman who was assaulted.

Second, it is perpetuating rape culture. By saying that a person is ‘asking for it’ based on what they are wearing you are also saying that the person doing the assaulting ‘just can’t help themselves’ which, I’m sorry, but they can. (#sorrynotsorry) What’s the phrase? “Boys will be boys”? No. Boys(Men) will be held accountable for their actions…juts like every other person.

A victim is not responsible for what another person chooses to do to them. A person is only responsible for themselves and their decisions. It is extremely upsetting that this idea is not just still around in people’s minds, but actually still being used as an excuse.

I mean look at dress codes in schools. They are directed towards girls and the ones for boys are laughable. In my school these were the rules that would get you sent to the office most often if they were not followed:

-Shirt straps were not allowed to be less than an inch thick (meaning no spaghetti straps). Halter tops (even if they had straps that were an inch thick) were not allowed to be worn at all, and no tube tops ever. Skirts couldn’t be any higher than a certain length above the knee. (Though of course the school couldn’t actually say these are for only girls but come on, we all know who they were directed towards.)

-The only dress codes rules for boys were that they couldn’t wear any shirts that advertised alcohol and they couldn’t show their underwear (which was pretty loosely enforced compared to the girls rules. I grew up in the time where guys were ‘sagging’ their pants and underwear made a very regular appearance in the hallways).

We are taught from a young age that girls need to cover up because boys can’t help themselves. That seems pretty messed up. Boys are snapping girls bra straps at school and generally it’s the girl that is told to cover up instead of the boy being in trouble for touching someone. So it’s the girls responsibility to control the environment for the boys? Yeah, I don’t think so.

The article “Oppressive Office Dress Codes Need to Go“, states “These rules just reinforce the belief that there is something inherently wrong with women’s bodies while also bolstering the idea that the sexual assault of women is somehow their fault. The sexualization of women’s bodies is not women’s problem, but the problem of those who interpret the sight of skin as a suggestion of sex.”

She goes on to mention how women who have larger bodies are often policed more than women who have smaller bodies even though they’re wearing the exact same thing.

It’s these kinds of rules, complaints, etc., that need to end. It is easier to blame the victim instead of change society. But I’m calling bull shit on all of that. It’s time we change society with the next generation. It’s time we raise our children to be respectful and control themselves instead of blaming others. It’s time we raise them to take responsibility for their own actions.

How do we do that? By leading by example.

Speciesism

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Way back in September I posted a re-post of an article I wrote a few years back. It was about a woman who went on a hunting trip and killed a lion and how I felt that the comments on it were very hypocritical since many of the people commenting were supportive of deer hunting. I mean honestly, you swap a white-tailed deer with the lion in that picture and you see the comments of “nice rack” or “that’s a big one” or “Nice job Bobby!”  It just seemed really hypocritical to me.

Well recently I learned what that is actually called (not just being a hypocrite).

Today’s post is brought to you by the word:

SPECIESISM

Speciesism is: discrimination in favor of one species, usually the human species, over another, especially in the exploitation or mistreatment of animals by humans.

Generally speciesism refers to humans being at the ‘top of the food chain’ and seen as more important. I don’t disagree with that necessarily, however, viewing one animal as more important than another is also speciesism.

Consuming cows while saying “ew that’s gross” to the thought of eating horse meat…that is speciesism.

Being outraged at someone hunting a lion instead of a deer…that is speciesism.

Vegans who have cats as pets and feed them meat…that is being speciesist.
Vegans who ride horses…that is being speciesist.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to be speciesist.  I’m just trying to bring to light the fact that most people are speciesist.
Maybe it’s the frequency with which we come in contact with the animals but I think it’s mostly how we’ve been conditioned to view them. We have been conditioned to view cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys as food.
But horses, dogs, cats, those are companion animals and therefore viewed as more important.
And when you venture into elephants, lions, tigers, (and bears oh my!) those are ones that you don’t see as often so therefore they’re automatically more special. Obviously this is coming from an American perspective and I wonder if it’s the same for people in other countries who come in contact with the ‘exotic’ animals more often (like elephants in India).
On a side note I don’t really buy into the whole if an animal is endangered they’re more special because people don’t seem to give a crap about the bees that were put on the endangered list.
So speciesism is when we view one animal as more important than another animal. And vegans are guilty of it too.
(Again this isn’t in reference to humans before animals. This is just one animal versus another animal.)

It’s That Time of Year Again!

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It’s my Vegan-versary!

It has been six years. Yes, SIX YEARS!  I am so glad I adopted this lifestyle.  I have never felt better about myself and my life.  Maybe it’s partly because I’m in my 30s now too but I am comfortable with who I am and the decisions I’ve made.

Looking back on the past six years, I have realized how much I’ve changed, and it’s not just food-based.

I used to be super accommodating, always bringing my own food to events or just ordering that salad on the menu and eating something more substantial when I got home.  I did this because I felt that I made a choice to make my lifestyle different than those around me.

Now I don’t make as much of an effort with that anymore.  I have chosen not to attend events or show up after/leave before the food.  I have also made the sure that any gatherings that are about myself, my husband, or Baby Boy (like birthdays or the baby shower) are now 100%, apologetically vegan.  I realize that may seem extreme to some, especially the skipping events part. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly.  There were patterns of behavior that I just got tired of putting up with.

First, I want to start off with saying that I have been very lucky and my parents have been very supportive of my veganism and for that I am very thankful.  They are more than willing to try out vegan recipes and restaurants with us.  They even signed up for Veganuary this year!  They didn’t do every meal of every day vegan but they started off the month making one dinner a week fully vegan.  By the end of the month they were having vegan dinners twice a week.   That is so huge!  In fact, they want to continue to incorporate vegan meals into their every day life and I am so proud!

That is one side of my ‘veganism coin’.

The other side is less supportive.  There are people that have never (not once) tried to be accommodating aside from telling us to bring our own food.  There was a family Christmas where our hosts went full Pinterest crazy and made the fanciest of dishes.  I brought some muffins to go with the breakfast theme (unasked because I thought it would be polite to bring food).  The following year when they hosted again I asked in advance if we could bring anything (twice) and was told no (twice).  Being optimistic, I thought maybe they went Pinterest crazy again and there were some vegan stuff they made! When we arrived, there was not ONE vegan piece of food.  They looked like deer in headlights when we said we didn’t bring anything or ourselves to eat.

After that and the many other times we received invites that went something like “I made BLTs” or “there’s no reason we can’t meet for ice cream”, we decided to not be in attendance while they were eating their meals (which included leaving a meet and greet early that was in celebration of OUR Baby Boy).

On the same side of that coin with other family, we had plans to have a celebration lunch at someone’s house.  This way we could still eat our food and they could have theirs.  A few days before the event, the place was changed to a local pizza restaurant.  No vegan options. Period.  I was not going to argue since it was not my celebration, so instead I sent a reply that said since this place did not have vegan (and organic) options, to go ahead and start without us and we would come after everyone had eaten.

I spent too many years tip-toeing around others feelings and only giving half truths when my feelings are not being taken into account.  I’m not being mean or accusatory, I’m just speaking my truth…my full truth now! (Also I made a New Year’s resolution to be more honest).  And it sure felt liberating sending that reply with my FULL truth.

Last week, I was listening to an older episode of Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack podcast and they were discussing making choices that were exactly like what I had gone through.  They said that sure your choice to not attend might seem extreme but your family made a choice to not accommodate you (you know the drill-show up because it’s important to grandma but we haven’t made anything you can eat).

There was a quote from one of the hosts that really resonated with me.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about food. It’s about feeling safe and accepted by the people we care most about.” 

Yes. That is exactly it and I couldn’t put it better myself.  My veganism is so deeply rooted in me that it’s part of who I am.  By others ignoring it by not putting any effort or even talking to me about it, that makes me feel like they don’t accept me. Ignoring the pink elephant in the corner doesn’t make it go away.

So instead of making a big stink about everything and getting into fights, etc., sometimes it’s just easier to set boundaries and distance myself.  And you know what?  After six years, I have learned that that’s ok.

 

Animal Dissection

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A Few Changes

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I hope that everyone had a great holiday and new year!  Mine was filled with happiness, laughter, and not as much rest as hoped but full of fun regardless!  Baby Boy had a great first Christmas and we learned he loves sledding!

Now that we’ve crossed over to 2018, I’ve set my sites onto what I am hoping to accomplish in this year.  I decided for the first time, pretty much ever, to make resolutions.  Of course, this blog is on the list but I’ve decided to make a few changes. As you may have noticed, last year I tried to post weekly and to be honest that left me stressed and a little burnt out. This blog was started as a way for me to get my feelings about certain subjects in the vegan world or in my personal life.  I found myself feeling dread sometimes when trying to come up with content.  So, I’ve decided to take a step down to posting once a month.  I know, I know, it’s a terrible loss!  Leaving the world with less of my thoughts-bahahaha-but we’ll get along anyway.

So, one of my resolutions is to write twice a month.  One for the blog and one for personal reasons. Writing was always fun for me and I want to keep it that way.

Some of my other resolutions include:

Being more kind to myself and others.
Being more honest-this is specifically related to our families and our vegan lifestyle, and quite honestly (ha!) this is what the blog was for originally. Now I want to bring some honesty into my personal life.
Have two new experiences-because experiences are more important than things.
One new watercolor painting per month.

I keep adding more as I see things I want to change or accomplish in my daily life.

I would advise everyone to create a list of resolutions for a new year and better you in 2018!

Thank you for continuing to hang with my here at HashtagGoVegan!

Break

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Hello there wonderful readers!  I’m saddened to tell you that HashtagGoVegan is going to take a short break. Between work, BB constantly getting into everything, and the holidays it’s been hard to keep up with posting weekly.  We hope to be back asap after the new year with new posts!

I did a post not too long ago about podcasts so while we’re gone I would suggest giving some a listen. I have been listening weekly to Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack which is wonderful and funny (*language warning*) AND Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter movies) has her new podcast out as well, The ChickPeeps.  It’s very much at the beginning stages right now but still a fun listen. (There are many more vegan podcasts too!)

Have a wonderful holiday season and we’ll see you in 2018!

If you have any posts you’d like to see or questions you’d like answered, please leave us a comment!

Trash Island

trash_island_#govegan_no plastic

There is a new place that we can all go on vacation…no it’s not the Island of Misfit Toys, though you could probably find some there. It’s a place where we can visit all of our old trash! Wouldn’t you be excited to see it again? Yeah me neither and I don’t think the inhabitants are very excited to see it either.

It’s really sad actually. According to the article “approximately 68% of the beach’s debris is buried in the sediment. Altogether, there are an estimated 37.7 million items, weighing 17.6 tons, accumulated on the island”. Obviously that’s a pretty staggering number and the ramifications for the animals are terrible! Some are eating it; some are using it for their homes; some are getting tangled and it’s also disrupting the sea turtles from laying their eggs.

 

This is gross, yes. We should try to clean as much as we can. We should also create and use more biodegradable materials-this is something we can do in our everyday lives to try to make a difference.

The funny thing is, this isn’t just happening on some far off island. There are places like that right here, of course on a much smaller scale.

My husband and I used to live near a beach and every time we’d go for a walk we’d see glass and plastic and trash that had become visible from the waves taking the sand out to sea. This wasn’t new trash. This was old…years and years old. We watched people walk right by beer cans that were fully exposed in the sand and let their kids play in the water right next to that floating plastic bag, tangled with fishing line. We saw very few people pick anything up.

Next time you see some trash somewhere that it doesn’t belong, think about this crab using a plastic tub as a shell, or that seagull that has eaten so much garbage that it can’t consume actual food anymore, and pick it up. It doesn’t take much to make a difference in your own community.

Nursery Rhymes

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Recently a family member who loves nursery rhymes got Baby Boy (BB) some nursery rhyme books and said This Little Piggy to him. Of course I knew many nursery rhymes growing up but I never realized just how creepy most of them are until now. We decided to usher in a new era and get rid of the books and teach him new stories and songs.

I’ve listed some famous nursery rhymes and my thoughts about them including my vegan thoughts of course, starting with the one that got me going on this rant.

This Little Piggy
This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way home.

Pretty sure they didn’t mean the pig went to the farmers’ market to buy some nice produce for his family…Is that why the other was crying ‘wee wee wee’? Because it just saw its brother being murdered?

Eeny meeny miny moe
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch a tiger by the toe.
If he hollers, let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.

New 1st verse needed: “Hi I’m Johnny Knoxville and welcome to Jackass”.

Baa baa black sheep
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

This was probably written at a time when the farmers were more careful sheering than they are now. But still, animal exploitation.

Little Miss Muffet
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

Again, animal products which also sound like a pretty gross mixture – curds and whey.

Rock-a-by baby
Rock-a-by baby
On the tree top,
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks,
The cradle will fall,
And down will fall baby
Cradle and all.

Great job putting your kid to sleep with this. Now they’ll have nightmares about falling out of a tree.

Jack and Jill
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after

So they went up a hill to get some water, ended up falling all the way down and breaking their heads.  Lovely imagery there.

It’s raining; it’s pouring
It’s raining; it’s pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head,
And he couldn’t get up in the morning.

It’s raining; it’s pouring.
The old woman is snoring.
She went to bed and bumped her head,
And she couldn’t get up in the morning.

It’s raining; it’s pouring.
The children are snoring.
They went to bed and bumped their heads,
And they couldn’t get up in the morning.

So basically, at best they all have concussions.

Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

They never said Humpty Dumpty was an egg…

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater
Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had a wife but couldn’t keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well.

Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had another and didn’t love her;
Peter learned to read and spell,
And then he loved her very well.

Nice story about an abusive relationship.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

And now child abuse.

Three Blind Mice
Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice?

Aren’t most mice basically blind? Odds are they were just searching for food and the lady decided to maim them.

The majority of these are enough to cause pretty severe nightmares. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Row Row Row your Boat, and Hickory Dickory Dock are some that are actually nice, which I’m surprised. Other than those, I think we’ll just going to sing The Beatles to BB instead.

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